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your website can send and receive sms

It's that simple. By implementing a third-party API on your website you can enable both the outgoing broadcast of bulk SMSs and the processing of incoming SMSs. Clients can access a significant level of self-service functionality (not to mention interactive fun!) by incorporating web-based SMS.

sending SMS

SMS provides a simple and direct method of contacting individual people immediately and in a subtle, yet effective manner. Many companies use SMS for quick every-day communications e.g. PIN reminders, booking confirmations, meeting reminders, special offers, competitions, digital vouchers, and more. Nothing beats SMS for informal and direct communication with a personal touch. In South Africa especially, the vast majority of people have a cellphone but no access to email, a fax or landline telephone. Companies that provide courteous information to their clients when required make them feel more involved and more likely to stick around.

A bonus for web-based SMS broadcast is that you can collect delivery confirmation information for the messages you send. Thus you will always be informed of whether contact details are correct. The system can also include special commands that deliver multimedia content like images and ringtones (MMS), as well as delayed messages, flashing SMSs and SMSs that disappear after reading!

receiving SMS

An SMS can be received on an ordinary 10 digit mobile number or via a 5 digit number or shortcode. The message is then relayed to a specialised script on your website that responds accordingly, either triggering an online action, saving some information or sending out a response SMS. The useful aspect of a 5 digit shortcode is that you can charge a premium for incoming SMSs i.e. the client gets charged more than the standard rate for sending his SMS - anything from R1 to R200. This system allows you to collect revenue from incoming SMSs and effectively setup a very effective micro-payment system. This is the basis of my instant co.za domain booking tool. Unfortunately most cellular networks take approximately half of your revenue for themselves, but optimistically even these fees are negotiable.


case study - livenotice.co.za

In 2004 I built an online SMS messageboard system. Users would setup a message online, assign it a keyword and then distribute the keyword to a large number of people. Whenever those people wanted the latest news from a messageboard they could SMS the relevant keyword to trigger a response SMS containing the news.

I expanded the system to include an SMS voting service (see below image) that displayed result graphs instantly online and also a corporate feedback service that collated consumer feedback online. I was able to collect a profit from each incoming SMS because I used a premium-rated 5 digit shortcode.

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